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A Week in the Life of a UX Design Student

Choosing to pursue a Master’s in UX Design was one of the most exciting decisions I’ve ever made! 

What UX Design means to me

I have always been interested in art and enjoy following galleries and art events, but in addition to this I have also had a deep passion for technology and enjoy listening to podcasts on human behaviour, understanding the reasons behind the choices we make. For me, these passions came together as I explored UX Design and ultimately drove me to apply for a course within this field. The blend of psychology, technology, and design fascinated me, and I knew this was the perfect path to channel my creative and analytical skills. 

My journey into studying UX Design

My journey into UX Design started when I was employed as a website manager, I found the role incredibly interesting and as I was experienced in this field it was also rewarding for me. While working there I developed a keen interest in human behaviour and cognition, which led me to realise my passion for this new and fascinating knowledge. As the subject is related to design and psychology and computer science, it can also give me information in these fields as well. This realisation led me to UX Design, where I could combine my love for design with my understanding of human psychology to create impactful user experiences. 

Insight Into Study:

A typical week studying UX Design

Monday

Over the weekend I try to find as many resources as possible when I’m not working at my part-time job, by Monday morning my head is filled with questions and new information. This is the best part of my week as a Master student, as I can bring these ideas to my first lecture ‘Interaction and Usability’ on Monday morning.   

After which, my classmates and I usually have some time together to have a chat while we eat lunch in the university café. If we have time, we then like to head to The Venue to play some pool – it’s a great way to wrap up the very first day of the week! 

Tuesday

On Tuesday I have the Design Thinking class which is my favourite lecture. For this module I have been put in a group with classmates to design an escape room for educational reasons. In the morning, my group and I gather in the study rooms of the Aldrich library before our lecture, to work on our amazing escape room and go through the process of design, including the consideration of all the main stages as part of the design thinking method.  

Most of the time we come up with questions and talking points for the different stages, which we then bring to the class and share with other students to discuss. Most of the module activities are based on being able to work in group and improving teamwork, this provides us with a sense of what it’s like working on real-world projects which helps ready us for work when we finish our course! 

In the evening, I go to the university gym and workout for two hours. I really enjoy my time at the gym, it’s a great place to make new friends and do my exercise routine.

Mahsa writing on a piece of paper working through the Design Thinking project

Wednesday

Every Wednesday I have the second session of the ‘Interface and Interaction Design’ module. In this lecture the class comes up with new methods and ideas of the design and interface software. We mostly work on the colours, shaping interpretation and trying to make fundamental design steps on either a website or application. I also like to make use of the Library during this time to help me work through the methods. 

I then have an optional module on ‘Business and Information System’, in this module we try to connect a business and industrial approach to UX Design, which makes it more challenging but also more rewarding. This is an individual project for every single student to design a BPMN module and put UX principles into the outcome of design. 

Thursday

On Thursdays, I don’t have classes or lectures, so I use this time for my part-time job where I work as a Sales Assistant at a shop. This job develops my communication skills and improves my English, which as an international student I would highly recommend! In addition to my job, I am also a member of the hiking society at the university, and we have a regular meet-up every Thursday where we get together in a pub and find new destinations for our hikes on Sunday mornings. Being part of a society is a great way to make new friends, especially to meet students from other courses too! 

People stand around and hug a large tree in a forest

Friday

Fridays are mostly spent in the study room of the Aldrich Library with my ‘Design Thinking’ group, where we continue to do research on our project. I am very grateful to have the experience of working on a project whilst I also develop skills in UX, teamwork and other soft skills as this will be essential for my professional life in the future.  

In the evenings, I go back to the university gym for my other exercise session with a friend and then attend my yoga class, which I held at the gym. I feel so chilled and relaxed after doing all these tasks and spending a week on studies and work.  

Insight outside of study 

Balancing academic life with personal activities is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When I’m not at university, I work part-time as a sales assistant in a shop. This role allows me to develop my english and make money for my daily life and expenses. 

Socially, I’m an active member of the UX design society and the university’s tech club. We organise workshops, guest lectures, and networking events, which are great for connecting with peers and industry professionals.  

Maintaining a balance between studies, work, and social life can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. I make sure to schedule my tasks efficiently and prioritise self-care to avoid burnout. 

A group work together on their laptops as they sit around a large desk

Career and future aspirations 

Looking ahead, I aspire to become a lead UX designer at a tech company, focusing on creating inclusive and accessible digital products. My course has provided numerous opportunities for work experience, including internships and collaborative projects with industry partners which should put me on the right path for my career goals! 

Last summer, I interned at a renowned design agency where I worked on a project to redesign an e-commerce platform. This experience was a turning point, offering practical insights into the industry and helping me build a professional network. 

The university’s career services have also been instrumental in preparing me for the future. They offer resume workshops, mock interviews, and career fairs, which have been incredibly helpful in honing my professional skills and expanding my network.

Studying a UX Design Master’s at Brighton

Being a UX Design master’s student is demanding yet immensely fulfilling. The combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application equips us with the skills needed to be successful in the industry. Outside of academics, balancing work, social life, and extracurricular activities helps create a well-rounded university experience. I am excited about the future and the opportunities my course has opened-up for me. 

I hope this gives you a good insight into a week in my life as a UX Design master’s student. If you’re considering this path, my advice is to embrace the challenges, stay curious, and seize every opportunity to learn and grow. 

Jenny and a friend holding their results

Word from the uni

Do grades matter in Clearing? Well, yes but we always look at you as an individual with a variety of talents and strengths. It’s never only about your grades!

Interesting reads: Find out how Eva saw Clearing as just another way to get to uni.

Find out more about Clearing in 2024

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Brighton cityinternational studentMastersstudent lifestudent lifestyleTop tipsuni lifeuniversity lifeUXUX Design

Mahsa Tarang • 3rd July 2024


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